The evolving role of HR professionals
- 1874: The invention of the telephone
- Circa 1949: Computers emerged
- The 1990s: The revolution of the internet
- Circa 2010: The rise and rise of Social Media
These milestones in communication signify a remarkable evolution in the way we communicate, access information, share it and interact with each other. As technology continues to grow and accelerate and organizations strive to keep up with all the changes, one of the most affected areas of an organization is its primary asset – its people.
Employees are now able to access information on their own, thus reducing the dependency on HR. HR has become much freer from traditional tasks of pay slips and leave management to focus on strategies and aiding the management in decision making. There is more connectivity and collaboration with competitors and vendors and the lines have blurred between personal and professional networks. All these changes are reflecting in the way we conduct business, attract, manage and retain teams. As a result, the role of HR has shifted dramatically over the years and especially in the recent past.
Skill shortages, competitive pressures, economic flux, global competition for talent, outsourcing labour, compliance legislations and more are some of the challenges faced by HR professionals today. Listed here are modern day skills that HR need to possess.
Strategic Business Planning
HR needs to ensure that the goals of the employees are aligned with that of the organization and that both of them are on the same page. They should also make sure that employees’ skills and experience are being used to the maximum, thus increasing the organization’s capacity. Being able to see the big picture along with paying attention to details and wearing an excellent strategic thinking cap are HR competencies to take on the challenges of today.
Change is the only constant is an oft repeated management mantra. This is so true and HR should ensure that employees have the skills to adapt to an ever-changing environment with minimum disruption. Empowering teams to deal ably with resistance and act as change facilitators will allow HR to achieve the desired results and goals.
Supporting and empowering employees
Having exceptional interpersonal communication skills, an empathetic attitude and understanding towards each employee’s life goals, what motivates and drives them and their unique aspirations are some of the things that are called for from HR professionals. Based on this data, they should design and monitor learning and development programs, that ensures an employee’s continuous growth in the organization. An environment should be created that would make the workplace the best office to work in, in the industry. Besides this, helping to build interpersonal relationships amongst teams, giving constructive feedback during Performance Review Programs and recognizing and rewarding employee successes are essential.
As the world of businesses continue to evolve, so too will that of HR professionals, as they try to keep pace with the changes. It is imperative for them to promote open channels of communication with employees within the organization, abide by an open door policy and create an environment of trust, friendliness and approachability. This will encourage employees to put away their fears as they approach HR for all their requirements.